Once you’ve gone through the process of setting up a dating profile online, hopefully what will start happening is that you establish connections with potential love matches. These may come through to you as direct messages or “matches” with an invite to then connect with that person via instant message or another medium. It depends on the platform that you’re using.
These connections undoubtedly come as good news, but what if you feel you don’t know how to start or keep up a conversation on your chosen dating site? It can be tricky. Even conversations that start well on the first day can quickly fizzle out when you take the wrong approach. In today’s blog, we are looking at how to have a good and lasting conversation on a dating site.
Getting a Conversation Started
So, let’s say you’ve made a connection with a new person on your dating platform. Regardless if you initiated the connection or they did, getting the start of the conversation right is key to establishing something that could flourish into a real love connection. Here are some tips:
Pick On a Profile Detail
The first strategy you can use to get a conversation started is to pick out an interesting detail from the other person’s profile and ask about it. It could be something the person is doing (or their location) in their profile picture, something about their hometown, hobbies, or perhaps a quote or joke they used in their profile: I see you’re a black labrador fan. That makes 2 of us!
This is a nice, light-hearted way to break the ice and get a conversation going. It invites return questions from the other user, and should establish a nice flow. What’s more, it’s good to pick on profile details because anything that the person has shared within their profile should be something that they’re happy to talk about. If it were something awkward, they’d not likely have shared it in the first place.
Use a Hypothetical Question
If you want to start the conversation with a little bit of humor, then why not try a hypothetical. One good example could be a “Would you rather…” question. You could combine this style with our previous point on using details from the person’s profile to form the question: Let me ask you something. If you had to give up either rock music or video gaming, which would you pick?
A hypothetical can be a fun, interesting and engaging question that creates a little spark between you and another person. Just be sure not to make the question inappropriate or boundary-crossing in any way: So, would you rather sleep with me in 1 hour or in 2? Such questions can be an immediate turn off, so play it safe in those earliest stages. It’s never a good idea to begin a dating site conversation with anything too hot and heavy, anyway.
Ask Something Open-Ended
A good open-ended question is another great way to get the conversation started. A question that invites an extended answer that doubtless will generate further discussion. You could try something like: What brings you to this app? Or perhaps something even broader and more everyday: Any plans for the weekend?
This type of open-ended start is useful for those who struggle with thinking of specific things to ask, or who feel they lack the wit for a funny hypothetical question. There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe. If it can prompt detailed answers and follow-up questions and doesn’t touch on any offensive or overly personal subject matter, then it’s probably a good question.
Keeping a Conversation Going
Now that you’ve got your “foot in the door” so to speak, you have to find ways of keeping the conversation moving in a meaningful and sustainable way. It’s all too easy to go in all guns blazing, only to see the conversation run dry and your message window become depressingly static for days, even weeks. With no one continuing the conversation, it’s clear that something has gone wrong.
Keep Things Light
It’s easy for a conversation to peter out when you’ve gone off like a rocket in the beginning getting into all the hot and heavy subject matter. Many people make this mistake on dating sites, and especially on hook up apps. If you’re looking to connect with someone more genuinely and form something more lasting, then you need to build from the ground up. That means starting light, and working towards more personal subject matter later.
If you feel that the light conversation is starting to wear thin and you want to try and inject something a little more interesting into the mix, then you could always start by pre-asking: Do you mind if I ask you something a bit more personal? That’s a great way to broach the subject and shows respect for boundaries. Most people in this context will likely accept your request, and you can deepen the discourse and build strength in your connection.
Move Off the Platform
Sometimes, chatting on a particular platform is what makes the conversation stall. If you’re using a dating site that only supports internal messaging and emails, then it isn’t the most direct or instant way to talk. In that case, you could ask the other person if they’d mind adding you on a more mainstream app such as WhatsApp or Messenger, for instance. You could also exchange Facebook profiles.
Moving to a new platform can do wonders for getting the conversation restarted once it has run its course on a particular dating app. It’s also a good sign between the two of you that things are moving forward and perhaps you can start making conversations more personal.
Dial Up the Flirtation
One of the personal dimensions you can explore with your new connection is the flirtatious one. In some cases, flirtation might well begin early on, which is fine. For others, it might take some time to work up to that level. Whenever it happens, a bit of mild flirting can do wonders for a conversation that’s otherwise starting to flag a little or become repetitive.
Flirtation can be a reassuring sign between the two of you that what you’re working on here is more than just regular friendship, too. If the flirting doesn’t go that well, there’s nothing to stop the 2 of you from becoming regular friends. At least at this point you’ll know where you stand and how best to proceed with the conversation.
Try to Bring the Conversation into the Real World
When online conversations have run their course, and the pair of you have exchanged many words online, possibly also through video chat, then it’s time to look at bringing the conversation into reality. If you feel ready for it, you could arrange to meet the person for a meal or a drink somewhere, and see if your in-person conversation dynamic matches what you’ve enjoyed online up to this point.
It’s important that when having your dating site/app conversation online, you don’t push for this final stage too hard. Let the conversation flow for enough time for both of you to feel comfortable and ready to meet in person. It can be a nerve-racking experience for some, the in-person meeting. Chatting online is safe, and even after many weeks of online conversation, the first meeting can be incredibly tense. Take this into consideration and don’t push too hard.